Nepal Tibet railway going to join the border areas with Nepal within the next five years. The railway will stretch out for another 540 kilometers from Xigaze to Kyirong county which sits on the border of Tibet and Nepal. The main aim of this project is to promote trade, also supplement road and air traffic between Nepal and China.
Nepal is an important transit point between China and South Asia, and a major chunk of the two countries’ expanding trade has been conducted through Tibet. With this newly announced Xigaze Kyirong section of the railway in five years, better road and rail connections could be expected between Nepal and China.
Tibet railway may not boast a bullet train, but the tracks are being laid down at breakneck speed and will be at the Nepal border in Rasuwa by 2020. On the Nepal side, the highway and facilities are rudimentary, and the government hopes to upgrade the highway and construct a dry port.
China has already extended the world’s highest railway line from Golmud to Lhasa to Xigatse and plans to bring it down to Kyirung, which is only 25 km north of the Rasuwa Gadi border. Last month, a freight train made the 2,500 km journey from Lanzhou in central China to Xigaze with 86 containers bound for Nepal. The containers were later transported to Kerung and on to Kathmandu by road.
The trade is expected to soar once the train arrives at the border, for preparation, Nepal is also building a dry port at Timure, 3 km south of the border. The Ministry of Commerce and Supplies has set up the Inter-Modal Transport Development Board to build this drypoint.
Zhamu port as being a customs point not only for Nepal but for the entire South Asia region. The hope is that once the train arrives, Chinese goods bound for India and Bangladesh will also use this shortcut via Nepal. Shipments of Chinese goods to Nepal via Kolkata port can take up to 35 days, while they can reach Nepal in 10 days via Kerung.